IN NICARAGUA, DAY OF JACKAL REDUX Peace talks between the government and Nicaragua's leading guerrilla commander have broken down, raising the chances of renewed combat in the beleaguered nation, a government official was quoted as saying Oct. 11. Interior Minister Alfredo Mendieta and rebel commander Jose Angel Talavera, known also as ``The Jackal,'' ended their attempts to disarm Talavera's guerrillas following talks Oct. 10 in the town of Quilali about 150 miles north of the capital. Many former contra rebels have rearmed to protest government failure to provide them promised land, tools, and other help in exchange for disarming. Many Sandinista troops, demobilized and jobless, also have rearmed. Wal-Mart under fire
The nation's largest retailer sold merchandise below cost in an effort to drive competitors out of business, a judge ruled in Conway, Ark., Oct. 12. Chancery Judge David Reynolds ordered Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to stop selling drugs and health and beauty aids below cost at its store in Conway. The ruling was in a lawsuit filed by three local pharmacies that accused Wal-Mart of ``predatory pricing'' to drive them out of business. The judge said the local Wal-Mart store violated the state's Unfair Practices Act by advertising and selling pharmaceuticals and health and beauty aids below cost ``for the purpose of injuring competitors and destroying competition.'' Germany approves treaty
Germany's constitutional court approved the Maastricht Treaty, clearing the way for germany to adopt all future European Community provisions and to work toward monetary and political union. Germany is the last country to ratify the treaty. Detroit sentencing
Two white former police officers convicted of beating a black motorist to death with their flashlights last November in Detroit will serve their sentences in federal prison under assumed names for their own protection. Before the Oct. 12 sentencing, Judge George W. Crockett III said in the Detroit News, ``In the state system, it's entirely possible that former police officers could come in contact with people they've put behind bars.'' The officers, Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers, were sentenced to serve between eight to 25 years. US-Mexico phone pact
Bell Atlantic Corp. joined forces Oct. 11 with Mexico's second-largest telecommunications company to provide wireless home phone service throughout Mexico. The regional telephone company serving the Mid-Atlantic states said it would invest up to $1.04 billion to acquire 42 percent of Grupo Iusacell, which owns the cellular phone license for the region encompassing Mexico City. Unlike the US phone system, where cordless phones sit in a base wired to the telephone system, the Mexican system will be truly cordless, relying purely on radio waves, Bell Atlantic said. Although the same technology is readily available in the US, but little room remains on the US radio spectrum. Korean border crossed
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D) of New York became on Oct. 12 the first American since the Korean War to cross the heavily fortified Korean border at Panmunjom in what was seen as a North Korean gesture for improved ties with the West. Mr. Ackerman's three-day visit to the Communist North and his crossing into pro-West South Korea with a three-member delegation coincide with mounting international pressure on North Korea to resolve suspicions that it is developing nuclear weapons. Inmate source of dispute
Oklahoma is waging what it hopes will be a fight to the death for Thomas Grasso. Mr. Grasso was convicted of murders in both Oklahoma and New York, and he'd prefer death in Oklahoma to life in New York, which does not have capital punishment. But on Oct. 11, New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said the inmate must serve out his 20 years-to-life sentence before being executed by injection in Oklahoma. Governor Cuomo opposes capital punishment but told Oklahoma Gov. David Walters in a letter that wasn't a factor. Instead, he said an interstate compact requires Grasso to serve New York's sentence first.